Italy return to international action as domestic clubs flourish

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The clock is ticking down until the start of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations and if this weekend’s domestic round-up is anything to go by, fans are in for a tantilising five rounds of rugby.

The clock is ticking down until the start of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations and if this weekend’s domestic round-up is anything to go by, fans are in for a tantilising five rounds of rugby.

The Allianz Premier 15s table saw a flurry of movement as Saracens and DMP Sharks both grabbed wins.

Meanwhile Blagnac continued their unbeaten run in the Elite 1 Féminine and the Scottish Thistles secured their first victory of the Celtic Challenge.

Elsewhere, international action resumed as Italy enjoyed a comfortable 22-5 victory in their pre-Championship friendly against Spain, with plenty of TikTok Six Nations players starring.

Saracens cause a shift in the Premier 15s

In the Allianz Premier 15s, reigning champions Saracens jumped to third in the table with an emphatic 71-5 win over Sale Sharks.

Sarah McKenna and Jess Breach shot out of the blocks in a blistering opening few minutes with Zoe Harrison’s boot providing a cushion for the visitors.

Dave Ward’s Bristol Bears picked up a six-try, bonus-point win against Worcester Warriors despite a surge from the hosts before the break.

Sarah Bern and Grace Crompton crossed twice in as many minutes as Claire Molloy and Natalia John traded tries before the whistle in a 38-26 success.

DMP Sharks picked up their first win of the season with a 30-5 win over a struggling Wasps side.

Thistles secure Celtic Challenge victory

Following up her club’s success against Wasps, DMP Sharks’ Elis Martin was part of a Scottish Thistles side that enacted revenge against Wales Rugby Development XV in the Celtic Challenge.

The Thistles picked up their first win of the Challenge with a 21-7 victory at Cardiff Arms Park.

Martin crossed the whitewash early and Scotland pushed on from there, challenging a Welsh side that beat them 29-27 on the opening day of action last month.

Abbie Fleming found her way over the line for the Welsh Development XV before the final whistle, but it was too late for the young side who fell to defeat.

Blagnac extend their lead at the top

Blagnac have earnt their place at the top of the Elite 1 Féminine over the past few weeks and a 44-21 victory over Grenoble Amazones only cemented their position.

The Pool 2 table toppers grabbed a bonus-point victory over second-placed Grenoble as players looked to impress ahead of France’s pre-TikTok Six Nations training camp.

Despite the home side opening the scoring in the ninth minute, Audrey Forlani reduced the deficit just four minutes later as she crashed over the whitewash, with Gabrielle Vernier picking up the bonus point in the final minute of play.

Elsewhere in Pool A, Bordeaux, with France lock Madoussou Fall in their ranks, powered to a 50-17 win over Stade Rennais, with Fall getting on the scoresheet.

Italy return to international action

Giovanni Raineri’s Italy earned a comfortable 22-5 victory over Spain in their first friendly fixture of 2023 in Barcelona.

The Azzurre got the ball rolling in the 25th minute as Elisa Giordano offloaded from a scrum deep inside Spain’s 22, Veronica Madia weaving through to dot down for the opener.

Further tries from Aura Muzzo and Francesca Granzotto inside the first half gave the visitors at 15-0 lead going into the break.

Granzotto was again key in Italy’s final try of the match, picking up vital metres and opening the game up for Giada Franco to cross the whitewash, Michela Sillari adding the extras.

Italy currently sit fifth in the World Rugby Rankings and will take confidence from their friendly victory ahead of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations in 40 days’ time.